Calvin Coolidge once said “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a Proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
Sometimes when things don’t go our way, we find ourselves becoming depressed or reaching for excuses. We look for things about ourselves and our circumstances that provide some explanation but the stories below will show you that no one is successful without some hard times along the way.
After Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the memo from the testing Director of MGM, dated 1933, said “Can’t act! Slightly bald! Can dance a little! Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.
On her second job in Baltimore, the station manager wanted her to change her name to Mindy. “It’s friendly, and no one will remember the name Oprah.”
An “expert” said of Vince Lombardi, “He possesses minimal football knowledge. Lacks motivation.”
Someone said of Albert Einstein, “He doesn’t wear socks and forgets to cut his hair. Could be mentally retarded.”
Thomas Edison was thrown out of school in the early grades when the teachers decided he could not do the work.
Harry S. Truman failed as a haberdasher.
When Bob Dylan performed at a high school talent show, his classmates failed to recognize he was a kid bound for glory and booed him off the stage.
W. Clement Stone, successful insurance company executive and founder of Success Magazine, was a high school dropout.
Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.
18 publishers turned down Richard Bach’s 10,000 word story about a soaring seagull, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, before Macmillan finally published it in 1970. By 1975, it had sold more than 7 million copies in the United States alone.
Richard Hooker worked for seven years on his humorous war novel, M*A*S*H, only to have it rejected by 21 publishers before Marrow decided to publish it. It became a runaway bestseller, spawning a blockbuster movie and a highly successful television series.
Babe Ruth, considered by sports historians to be the greatest athlete of all time and famous for setting the home run record, also holds the record for strikeouts.
Winston Churchill did not become prime minister of England until he was 62, and then only after a lifetime of defeats and setbacks. His greatest contributions came when he was a senior citizen.
When we think we have failed and want to give up, we should remind ourselves of the life story of this man:
- Age 22, failed in business
- Age 23, ran for legislature and was defeated
- Age 24, failed in business again
- Age 25, elected to legislature
- Age 26, sweetheart died
- Age 27, had a nervous breakdown
- Age 29, defeated for speaker
- Age 31, defeated for elector
- Age 34, defeated for Congress
- Age 37, elected to Congress
- Age 39, defeated for Congress
- Age 46, defeated for Senate
- Age 47 defeated for vice president
- Age 49, defeated for Senate
- Age 51, elected president of the United States
This is the record of Abraham Lincoln. Throughout his life, he suffered far more defeats then victories but because he never gave up he won the highest office in the land and is considered by many Americans to be the greatest president the country has ever had.
I cannot say I remember where I got all of this but it is a nice reminder of the lessons of some of the great ones!!!